Double Disruption – What Every Company Needs to Know About the Future
Throughout Elina Kiiski-Kataja’s career, she has been involved in building up the future together with organisations and individuals. Currently, she’s the Director of Research at Ellun Kanat change management consultancy, and a PhD Researcher on technology and democracy.
We at Ellun Kanat Company want to challenge companies to broaden their views and observe the different change dynamics and what are the things that every company needs to know about the future. Changes will more and more commonly originate from surprising directions. Therefore, companies need to remain awake, monitor their surroundings while remaining curious and bold, and keep asking what is going on in the world. According to the analysis of Ellun Kanat, we are living in the era of Double Disruption which means massive changes in the ways companies operate in accordance with their surroundings; especially with stakeholders who are more and more at the core of either helping the company to succeed or fail. Let me elaborate a bit.
Changes will more and more commonly originate from surprising directions.
The following matters, in particular, are at the core of the Double Disruption: The massive paradigm shift has been brought about by new communications technology. When the smartphone changed our way of communicating in the 2010s, it also disrupted information, hierarchies, politics, power, transparency, public discussion, everyday life, culture, business models, earnings logic, and the manner in which companies and organisations, in general, can operate. We are still learning every day in companies as individuals and as a society to live in this new world of constant communication. Those who build up a dialogue with their internal or external stakeholders are the winners of this era according to the analysis.
The second massive disruption arises now when we are reaching the limits of the Earth’s ecological capacity. This means massive changes in how we produce, consume, live our lives, and value things. This will disrupt the economy, value creation, consumption, society, culture, politics, resource use, the purpose of companies, and everyday life for all of us. The ecological crisis has in recent years produced a new group of stakeholders to all companies; more and more people around the world are concerned about the future of our common planet and that creates a powerful force for change for all the companies that is already well underway.
The second massive disruption arises now when we are reaching the limits of the Earth’s ecological capacity.
Together, these two phenomena, communicative and ecological disruption will cause a phenomenon that Ellun Kanat calls Double Disruption. Therefore, the most significant megatrend for companies and organisations in the 2020s will be change. The preconditions of the world as we know it were set in a different situation. A massive number of companies have also been built to rely on these old preconditions. The changing preconditions will also alter companies’ chances of survival. Reaching the limits of the Earth’s ecological capacity means that we are facing an unavoidable change that will basically concern everything related to human life. Above all, however, it will concern the economy, methods of value creation within societies, available resources, consumption, culture, and politics. Of course, it is possible that no changes will be actively made soon enough and we will keep operating the same as before. However, business as usual is now off the table as an option.
The most significant megatrend for companies and organisations in the 2020s will be change.
Our operating environment will undergo major changes, regardless of whether or not we bring them about ourselves. Change will happen even if we do nothing. Its rate may be slower in this case, but the outcome will also be more unpredictable and comprehensive, as the current rate of warming is predicted to have dramatic consequences. We, therefore, need to choose our strategy for approaching this change.
Ellun Kanat believes that the change we are currently undergoing will affect the strategic core of companies and how they need to communicate with the outside world. It affects especially their stakeholder groups. When before the shareholders were the ones companies needed to serve, now as we are living the era of communicative disruption we are entering the world, where a wide understanding of the companies stakeholders widely becomes a precondition for succeeding. Whether it is the employees, local communities, or the habitants of the planet Earth, at your company, you need to know and understand those who have now new power over communicating with your company and how you are positioned in this conversation. Are you building a future that others want to join?
Therefore, this is all about more than simply being at the mercy of change and adapting to it. Above all, it is about choosing the future and systematically working towards it in dialogue with the future, with your organisation and with the world around you. Before you can decide how you will change, you need to decide what kind of future your company or organisation wants to be involved in creating and who in its surroundings it needs to involve in the process. This question is at the heart of everything right now, as we enter the second decade of the second millennium. Ellun Kanat also believes that, by grasping the change and boldly looking forward, you can both succeed and change the world for the better.
SHIFT Business Festival
25-26 August 2021